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Posted on May 16, 2012 in Dear Diary, Races | 26 comments


Wellps, it’s here! As Sean can attest from the tear-stained evidence leftover from my completely hysterical breakdown about it last night, I’m off to the Reach the Beach Relay tomorrow! I fly up to Boston tomorrow morning, and it is going to be a packed weekend, full of more than just the relay race itself. It’s unlikely that I’ll get a ton of blogging in over the next few days. There will, however, be lots of Tweeting and Facebook updating though! We’ll be tagging race-related tweets with #rtbrelay, #newbalance, and/or #offbalance, and we even have a new Team Off Balance Twitter handle: @RTBOffBalance. Wheee, social media storm!


So a big component of preparing for a 30 hour, 200 mile race is making sure you’re packing well. I want to make sure that I’ve got everything I need without OVER-packing (something that I have a rather strong tendency to do). So I’ve been casually gathering things over the past week to make sure that I’m not forgetting anything. Yesterday I packed up most of the things I’m going to need (though I’m sure there will be a few last minute swaps and additions, for sure!) and gave my duffel bag a trial run.


Since, as mentioned, our all-blogger team is being generously sponsored by New Balance, packing my fitness clothing isn’t much of a challenge. I’ve had a chance to test out all of the running gear that they sent us, and have my three running outfits all picked out. I have three sports bras, three pairs of socks, and three hair bands too. I’m even bringing the extra items that I won’t be running in — like these infamously short run shorts — because while I may not enjoy the chafing, they are super comfortable just to lounge around in.


New Balance also sent us an awesome secondary package just a day or so ago with some team-branded clothing! So we have a tank, long sleeve technical tee, and running windbreaker all with Off Balance branding! So exciting, and the tank is not only vented with a sweet logo, but it’s super flattering too. Win-win!


It was actually much more difficult for me to decide what to pack in terms of non-fitness clothing. Ultimately, I figured that things are going to be pretty casual (with the possibility of going to do something slightly nicer Saturday night if we’re not all dead), so I’m packing a couple of cute tees (including my Team Peeta shirt! RAWR!) and one sundress. I’m planning on wearing my jeans on the plane.


And yes, that is 7 pairs of underwear you’re seeing folded up in the background there. Underwear is the one thing that I believe can NEVER be over-packed! On the side you might also be able to make out a rolled up plastic-lookin’ thing. That’s three huge Ziplock bags for me to put my race outfits in. All of the relay race packing suggestions I’ve read say to pack your three race outfits in separate plastic bags — that way, it’s easy to pull them out when it’s time to change, and you also have a place to put them back when you’re done! I know it probably seems gross to put sweaty clothes in a plastic bag, but consider that I, the Sweatiest Exerciser Ever, am the first runner. That means that there are like 29.5 hours left in the race that my vanmates would have to put up with my stinky clothes if I didn’t seal ’em off, hahaha. What, TMI?


I do have just a FEW non-clothing things that I’m packing too. Since I’m flying and don’t want to have to check a bag, I’m trying to keep my extras limited. But I want to contribute to the team/my van, too! So I’m bringing baby wipes (for post-run wipe downs, since there won’t be any showers), a roll of TP (just in case!), the Dreamie travel blanket that Ben gave me for my birthday (if I decide to try to catch even a few minutes of shut-eye in the van, haha), and a jar of Peanut Butter & Co. White Chocolate Wonderful (for eating by the spoonful).


Of course, I can’t forget the most important thing that I’ll need to be bringing — my sneakers! New Balance also sent me this awesome pair of flip flops in my latest package, which I was counting on relaxing in between running legs. Unfortunately one of the support straps broke! I’m really bummed, because they are SO comfortable (they remind me of Rainbows!), but I guess I’ll have to resort to my UnderArmour flippies instead. Le sigh.

So there you have it! Additional things I’ll be bringing that aren’t shown include my camera (duh!), iPhone (duh!), charger (duh! Are you sending a pattern?), a hand towel (suggested by our New Balance contact to wipe down post-run), PJs for Thursday and Saturday nights so that hotel roomie isn’t subjected to THAT (bahaha!), toiletries (including men’s deodorant – this is no time for my usual Dove Cucumber and Green Tea!), and some very minimal makeup.

Any last minute suggestions for what to bring, what to do, or how to survive? General words of encouragement are also welcome, since I’m still mildly freaking out about the running part of this whole shebang… though, as my loving and rational boyfriend reminded me, I’ll only be spending a fraction of the relay (like, what, 2 hours total?) actually running. But still. Think good thoughts for me! 🙂

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Posted on Jun 23, 2011 in Dear Diary | 18 comments

Boulder or Bust!

Howdy howdy, folks! Happy Thursday! Except, it’s really like Happy Friday for me (YAYYYYYYYYY!) because bright & early tomorrow I’m boarding a plane bound for Denver, CO! Why? For the Fitness & Health Bloggers Conference taking place in Boulder, of course! I am very excited to be attending my second blogging conference, and am sure that I’ll be coming back with even more inspiration and passion for this li’l ol’ blog of mine (lucky you, eh? Hahaha.)


I’ll be rooming with Casey, and am really looking forward to meeting more people, as well as reuniting with some of my Fitbloggin’ pals! I just have to make sure I pack my bag much more mindfully, since I don’t have the luxury of driving back with all my swaaaag this time, hahaha.

Since I’ve been doing so much traveling lately , I have to admit that the condition of my room has been, uh, less than stellar. After all, what’s the point of unpacking a suitcase if you’ll just be packing it back up the next weekend, right? This week I did finally hit the breaking point of my slovenly living though, and it was time to finally do something about the warzone-room flashbacks I was having. I even ended up scrubbing my bathroom from top to bottom! And bonus? I got supah sweaty cleaning up, so I’m totally counting it as my workout for the day. 😉




Atrocious, I know. But! Have faith, my friends! It wasn’t long before all of that became all of this:



And the suitcase HAD to stay out, since I’m doing that whole traveling thing again starting tomorrow. But at least it’s not buried under a pile of dirty clothes anymore. Progress, right?

The bro and I took the pups over to the ‘rents for family dinner (another money-saving tip, in case you missed yesterday’s Weight Loss 101 installment!)


I think my mama would be very pleased with my productive afternoon.

Family BondingIMG_9129.jpg

Total resemblence, right? Hahahahahaha.

Who else is going to the conference in Boulder this weekend? Shout out! And for those of you who aren’t going to be there, what are your tips for staying healthy while traveling? I think it’s pretty obvious that if I continue spending as much time away from home as I have been, I need to start implementing some much better practices. This weekend I’m specifically traveling to a conference that centers around health & fitness, so I’m hoping the damage won’t be too bad, but still! Can’t hurt to have some tips/tricks to pull out of my pocket!

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Posted on Feb 17, 2011 in Dear Diary, Pup Posts | 8 comments

Leavin’ on a Jetplane

Hi-dee-ho Neighborinos! If you’re taking a gander around the site, you might notice that a few things (okay, everything) has changed! That’s right, I’m trying to a little lighter and brighter with my blog layout and theme. What do you think so far? I have plans to create a new banner for the blog (as much as I love my little Daxter-poo, I’m not sure I want my blog and weight loss to be forever associated with dog food) and I’m sure I’ll continue to move things around, so be prepared for some more ch-ch-ch-chaaaanges (oh yeah, that’s meant to be sung aloud.)

Anyway, as this post title implies, I am headed out on an aeroplane to visit my friends in the Great White North – Canada! For those of you just joining me, I spent my senior year of high school in Ottawa, Ontario before coming back to the states for college. Just for comparison’s sake, I will now allow you all to have a glimpse of high school Gretchen (she’s the one in the middle):

Hot damn, look at how skinny she was! Sigh, if only I knew then what I know now… I wouldn’t have wasted so much precious time and self-esteem berating myself for being “fat”. Anyway! That’s my prom pic (well, the Canadian equivalent of prom… called the “Grad Dance”… and our families were invited… yeeeeah. Canada, go figure. Hahahaha, I kid, I kid!) and I’m going to be hanging out with most of those cool cats again come this weekend! I haven’t seen most of my friends up there in over two years, so I am soooo excited to finally be visiting. My flight leaves this evening, so I worked on packing up my things last night:


And, of course, by packing my things I really mean hastily throwing my crap into a bag because I wasted my entire night on my blog theme revamp, hahaha.

Somehow, I feel as though the pupsters know that I am abandoning them. They were simply not having it last night:


Look at how angry little Daxy looks, and Harry wouldn’t even look at me! He did, however, go rooting through Erin’s bathroom trash, a pasttime he hasn’t engaged in since forever, so I think he knows something’s up. I don’t know what they’re so upset about though, they’re headed for a luxury stay at Hotel Grandma & Grandpa (aka my parents’ house) where I’m sure they will be treated to four full days of being fed from the table (tsk, tsk, Mama! Hahahahaha.)

Anyway, that’s my big news for the day. I cannot WAIT to see my friends again — I am literally counting the hours (and thus, this day is going by soooooooooooooooooooooooo slowly. OMGIDIE.) I’m not sure how much blogging I’ll be able to do from there, but I have already packed my camera so be on the alert for some sweeeeet recap posts when I get back, including food pics from my favorite Ottawan restaurant! And Beavertails! And Nanaimo Bars (well, I won’t be eating any of those, but I’ll try to take a picture at least, hahaha.) You get the general Canadian picture.

If you were wondering, I’m still planning on staying the course in terms of the diet while I’m gone. Since this is a trip (as opposed to a vacation), I will still try my best to be diligent about watching what I eat and making sure I’m not going overboard (Ai Rei – I’m counting on you to keep me on track!) I’m sure I’ll be freezing my tail off, but I guess that’s a good thing (shivering = burning calories, right?) That’s why my suitcase is so heavy though – lots of layering clothes! Also, I definitely overpacked on the underwear front. Which brings us to our Question o’ the Day:

When you go on a trip, what is your stance on underwear? Do you pack just enough, an extra pair or two, or have an extreme surplus? I definitely subscribe to the pack-as-many-pairs-as-you-can-fit mentality — better safe than sorry!

Oh, and before I forget: I gots my hair did yesterday, too. Just got it re-highlighted and trimmed up, and because of my extreme vanity I even took pictures for you all!




And yes. I felt like a loony bin taking pictures of myself inside Bubbles, haha. Ok, that’s all for now. If I don’t get to blog before then, see you all Stateside!

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